Keynotes & Workshops

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Wednesday, October 12th

Pam Dorr headshot

Pam Dorr

Executive Director
Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization, Inc. (HERO)

As an entrepreneur living in rural Alabama, Pam Dorr runs 2 non-profits and 5 small businesses.  Her efforts create affordable housing and economic development to provide jobs and job training. Pam is the Executive Director of the Hale Empowerment & Revitalization Organization, Inc. (HERO) and Habitat for Humanity, Hale County, Inc. Working in partnership with all levels of government, community organizations, service providers and volunteers to ensure community development opportunities allow each of us to celebrate rural communities in the Alabama Black Belt. HERO builds affordable housing to help families achieve their dream of homeownership and provides economic development to create jobs and job training. Pam was the founder and now leads Habitat for Humanity, Hale County, Inc creating homeownership opportunities for very low-income families. 

Pam grew up outside San Francisco and enjoyed a successful 18-year career in the apparel industry prior to dedicating herself to community development work. Joining Auburn University’s Rural Studio in 2003, she studied innovations in architecture as an Outreach Fellow.  Pam stayed in Hale County to found HERO Housing Resource Center in 2004 and Habitat in 2006. She has led completion of over $15,000,000 in community development assets.  Pam continues to celebrate the unique character of rural communities.

Thursday, October 13th

Senator Andy Gardiner

The Florida Senate

Andy Gardiner represents Florida’s 13th State Senate District, which includes portions of Orange and Brevard Counties.

First elected to public office in 2000, Senator Gardiner served four terms in the Florida House of Representatives, including one term as House Majority (Republican) Leader under Speaker Allan Bense.

Senator Gardiner was elected to the Florida Senate in 2008 and served as the Senate Majority (Republican) Leader under President Mike Haridopolos from 2010-2012, joining an elite group of legislators who have served as the Republican Leader in both Chambers to include former Senate President Jim King and former House Speaker, now Congressman, Dan Webster. In November 2014, Senator Gardiner was unanimously elected by his colleagues to serve as the 86th President of the Florida Senate since statehood in 1845.

A lifelong resident of the Orlando-area district he represents, Senator Gardiner works as the Vice President of External Affairs and Community Relations for Orlando Health. He previously served as the Executive Director of the Apopka Area Chamber of Commerce.

Senator Gardiner and Camille, his wife of 17 years, are both graduates of Stetson University and the proud parents of three children, Andrew Junior (11), Joanna Lynn (7), and Kathryn Lucille (4). 

Housing Workshops

Employment Workshops